The History of Navision, Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central

spaceman bear
1984 - Birth of Navision


The Birth of Navision

Three college friends from Copenhagen created a single-user PC accounting solution to track warehouse, finance, debits and credits all in one place. It was called Navision.

Microsoft partnered with Apple to release the new Apple Macintosh and Microsoft’s custom designed productivity software: Multiplan, Chart, Word, File and BASIC.

1987 - Dove Soap Bar


Microsoft's New Computer Mouse Raises Eyebrows

IBM and the Danish trio launched the first version of IBM-NAVIGATOR. Version 2 followed shortly after, providing a multi-user solution and one of the first client/server applications. IBM-NAVIGATOR rapidly became a bestseller which, after a plethora of names, ultimately became Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Microsoft announced their new computer mouse, nicknamed the ‘Dove Soap Bar’.

1990 - Europe Roll-Out


The Roll-Out into Europe

Expansion moved beyond Copenhagen and into Germany, Iceland, Spain and then the UK where the name ‘Navision' was used for the first time.

Windows 3.0 was released, boasting new features such as streamlined graphic user interface GUI – it sold over 100,000 copies in two weeks.

1992 - MDN Launched


Microsoft Developer Network is Born

‘Avista’ (Navision) was launched in America. As the Americans pronounced Navision as ‘no-vision’, marketeers decided to rename it Avista. Apparently not only would it appear at the beginning of a product list, but names ending in an ‘a’ had a more preferable sound!

The Microsoft Developer Network (MDN), a new customer service established to support all commercial and corporate developers, is announced.

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1993 - Microsoft Encarta


The First Multimedia Encyclopaedia!

Navision initiates a major development effort to create a new generation of solutions based on Microsoft Windows 32-bit client/server platform.

Microsoft Encarta, the first multimedia encyclopaedia designed for a computer, is released.

1995 - Navision Financials


Designed for Windows 95

Navision 1.0 was released in 1995 and became the first accounting system to be independently certified as ‘designed for Windows 95’. It was rewritten from the ground up to attain the Microsoft certification, running true and without the need for porting.

Our Managing Director Ian Humphries and former Chairman Peter Lingham discovered Navision.

1996 - Alpha Landsteinar


Alpha Landsteinar - Open for Business

The launch of Navision Financials 1.0 was quickly followed by version 1.1 aka the ‘stable release’ with most of the initial bugs fixed and an upgrade path from DOS to Windows. It’s also the year that Navision was named in the ‘Top 100 Software’ list by Accounting Today magazine.

Ian, Peter (our former chairman) and some Icelandic people (now LS Retail) created Alpha Landsteinar, one of the first Navision resellers in the country. At the same time, David Walker (now Operations Director at TNP) had also started an early Navision reseller called Symtech.

1997 - Hyperlinks


Hyperlinking Data Became a Reality

A year later, Navision Financials 1.2 was released, which included the ability to hyperlink data with Internet sites and to use the Internet for data transfer and management. 

Microsoft announces the immediate availability of Office 97, the new version of the world’s best-selling productivity suite.

1998 - Cordless phone


Microsoft's Wireless Phone

Navision Financials was named in the ‘Top 100 Software’ list for the third year running. They opened offices in Italy, South Africa and Canada, which expanded the total to more than 800 Navision Solution Centres globally and used by more than 32,000 customers worldwide. Navision Manufacturing was also released.

The Microsoft Cordless Phone System was released, featuring personal computer integration. It was the only phone product made by Microsoft until the Windows Mobile series of smartphones.

2000 - Windows Professional


Navision Received the Windows Professional Logo

The merger of Navision Software and their Danish rival Damgaard Software created an international market-leader with revenues of more than $1.2 billion – to the delights of those three former students bank balances!

It was also the year Navision Financials 2.6 received the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional logo and became the world’s first solution to be based on Microsoft’s Digital Dashboard.

2001 - Y2K Bug


Navision A/S Avoids Y2K Bug Slump

NavisionDamgaard A/S was changed to the more easily pronounced Navision A/S. Its growth rate was astounding as the rest of the accounting software industry had been slumping since the ‘Y2K bug’ period. 

Microsoft launces Xbox, a gaming console to compete with Sony’s Playstation 2 and Nintendo’s GameCube. Windows XP was also released.

2002 - XP Licenses


Over 60 Million Office XP Licenses Sold

After much speculation, Microsoft bought Navision in a $1.3 billion deal and it became part of Microsoft’s Business Solutions division. As Navision generated about 86% of its business in Europe, its headquarters in Vedbaek became its application business base for EMEA. It was the first acquisition for Microsoft since they bought Great Plains Software. The takeover sparked a bitter war of words with rivals Sage!

As of May 2002, over 60 million Office XP licenses had been sold.

2005 - Dynamics NAV rebrand


Navision is Rebranded to Dynamics NAV

Microsoft announced the rebranding of Microsoft Navision to Dynamics NAV and similarly rebranded all of its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products. 

Having previously employed a very young Matthew Dredge and many other employees now at TNP, fast forward to 2005 where the business was acquired by K3.

2007 - Employee No.1


Rob Targett is Employee Number One!

Dynamics NAV 5.0 was released (a year late) delivering improved functionality and stability.

After continuing the company for a number of years, Ian left K3 to see if it was a fluke the first time and, with some former partners, set up Cenium Ltd with a mission to sell NAV to the hotel industry. Familiar to some of you, Rob Targett, who was employee number one, and Paul Wellingham joined.

2009 - Role Tailored Client


Release of the Dynamics NAV Role Tailored Client

Dynamics NAV 2009 was released with the long-awaited new user interface Role Tailored Client, which was the first change in the look since 1995. 

Deciding to get back into the mainstream NAV market, and being joined by a slightly less youthful Matthew Dredge and David Walker, Touchstone NAV was created as a joint venture with Touchstone PLC from their fledgling NAV business.

2012 - Andrei P and Ian


A Memorable Recruitment

Dynamics NAV 2013 has been a landmark release, breaking the links to the old Navision technology. It has provided 25 years of dedicated service from the good old DOS days to a fully integrated web application, soon to move into the cloud… 

Ian met an enthusiastic Andrei Popescu where he was working in a restaurant kitchen. Andrei asked if he could work for free to gain some experience, an offer too good for Ian to miss. After the first week, it became clear that Andrei would be a hugely valuable asset to the company and clearly worth paying! Today, Andrei heads up the UK Managed Services team and in Ian’s words, “that free working week was one of the best investments we ever made!”

2013 - Dynamics NAV Performance


Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 Delivers Great Performance Improvements

Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 continues to deliver improved performance, new technology components and strong functional improvements - it just keeps getting better!

2013 marked the debut year of TNP's 'Ultimate Guide' publication where we shared the latest news from Microsoft surrounding our beloved Dynamics NAV product.

2014 - nYwhere Announcement


TNP's nYwhere App

NAV 2015 saw the introduction of a dedicated Tablet Client, Office 365 Integration and improved Upgrade Tools which made the 'merging' of existing changes to a system much easier and quicker than before!

During our 4th Annual Microsoft Dynamics User Day for customers, other NAV users and partners, we announced nYwhere, our customer-led mobile sales application used by customers such as ScS in retail stores across the country.

2015 - Phone Client


The Introduction of the Dynamics NAV Phone Client

Another major release, NAV 2016 is unveiled. Workflow and Dynamics NAV extensions are introduced. Integration with Azure SQL and the release of the phone client fills the last gap in the out-of-the-box functionality!

Our nHanced for Classic was released in 2015, way past the ‘Classic days’, as our way of demonstrating that we are as committed to those on older version of Dynamics NAV as we are to those on the latest.

2016 - Manchester


Expanding in Manchester

A huge amount of time and effort has been accorded to simplifying NAV for the 2017 release; clutter has been removed from list pages and card pages making sure that the right information is front and centre. But the real piece de resistance of 2017 is Outlook Integration – NAV right where you need it.

In addition to our Newbury HQ, we decided to hire heavily in Manchester – an investment that has well and truly paid off. Building our resources in the North of England means being able to physically support and visit our customers more frequently.

2017 - Best Companies


The Sunday Times Best Companies

Release of NAV 2018 and announcement that the Dynamics 365 rebrand is imminent! More Office 365 integration and new web client tailor-ability features.

TNP were awarded 3 Star accreditation by The Sunday Times Best Companies survey and were voted the 29th best small company to work for in the UK.

2018 - NAV Rebrand


Dynamics 365 Business Central is Born!

2018 saw the complete rebranding to Dynamics 365, with the public cloud being joined by private cloud and on-premise versions.

With the retirement of Ian’s business partner of many years, co-founder of TNP Peter Lingham, private equity firm FPE invested in TNP to help with its next stage of development. 

2019 - Linghams Lodge


Celebrating Peter Lingham's Time at TNP

We gratefully received the Spring and Autumn releases of Business Central, the huge focus on the latter (Business Central 15) being the end of the Windows client and the C/AL development environment. These positive moves confirm the web client as by far the better client and AL established as the superior developing environment. Tonnes of functional improvements matched with advanced usability features made this a major release year for our beloved product. 

Post Chairman Peter’s retirement, TNP opened up our old office across the car park and lovingly named it ‘Lingham’s Lodge’. 

2020 - Power Platform


Excitement for Microsoft's Power Platform

With two highly anticipated releases of Business Central in 2020, which we documented in our 'Release Wave 1' and 'Release Wave 2' blogs, we welcome Microsoft's continual dedication to customer and Partner feedback. Integration to the Common Data Service for use with the Power Platform, as well as general UI and usability improvements, make 2020 an exciting year for Business Central.

Following the administration of K3 Retail’s Dynamics division, TNP bought the support contracts for the customers and rediscovered old relationships from Ian’s days at K3.

2021 - Teams Integration


Microsoft Teams Integration with Dynamics 365 Business Central

As has become the 'norm', both the spring and autumn release of updates to Dynamics 365 Business Central were packed with fresh developments. Business Central was integrated with Microsoft Teams in 2021, a fantastic feature that makes seamless workflows possible. Answer queries quickly, connect with teammates on customer orders, look up contacts without leaving Teams. It's an exciting development that will only get better as it evolves.

TNP acquired a small analytics practice to build out our Power BI team, a section of The Power People that are dedicated to Microsoft's Power Platform offering.

Speak to us about Microsoft Teams integration and how we can introduce it to your business